Monday, January 10, 2011

Taboos and Fears Among Muslim Girls in Germany

As Muhammad's wife Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing [Muslim] women" (Sahih al-Bukhari 5825).

Young Muslim women are often forced to lead double lives in Europe. They have sex in public restrooms and stuff mobile phones in their bras to hide their secret existences from strict families. They are often forbidden from visiting gynecologists or receiving sex ed. In the worst cases, they undergo hymen reconstruction surgery, have late-term abortions or even commit suicide.

Gülay has heard it from her mother so many times: An unmarried woman who has lost her virginity might as well be a whore.

Gülay, 22, lives in Berlin's Neukölln, a district that is home to a high number of Muslim immigrants, and has little in common with the cliché of the "girl with the headscarf." She wears tight jeans, low-cut blouses and has long hair that she doesn't keep covered. She is self-confident and looks people in the eye. Gülay plans to begin a training program to work as an airport ground hostess next year. At first glance, she comes across as a poster child for successful integration.

Nevertheless, she is adamantly opposed to seeing her name in print, just as she would never meet a journalist for an interview in one of the hookah bars in her neighborhood that are so popular among Arab and Turkish immigrants. She is worried that someone could overhear her talking about her family's strict morals, and about the rigid code of honor in her social environment that prevents girls from having sex before marriage and forbids them from having boyfriends.

Gülay is thinking about how best to sum up her dilemma. She nervously stirs her tea before launching into a litany of complaints. "The boys can screw around as much as they want, but if a girl does it she can expect to be shot," she says. "That's just sick." She first had sex five years ago, and it completely changed her life. Since then, she has been deathly afraid of being branded by her family as a dishonorable girl -- or, worst yet, punished and cast out. . . .

Sex education in school is also taboo for many young Muslim girls, says Gülay, who was the only one of 15 Muslim girls in her grade who attended the classes. Her fellow female students from the most devout families, says Gülay, "asked me all kinds of questions about how to use a condom and how to get the pill. Some of them didn't know anything at all." And some, according to Gülay, believed that all they had to do after having sex was to rinse themselves thoroughly with water. Others, especially "headscarf girls," only engage in anal sex with their boyfriends, believing that in this way they can protect their "honor," says Gülay.

Taking a boy home would almost be suicidal, say the girls at the youth club. The thought alone is so unheard-of that it triggers hysterical laughter. They rattle off the places where they have their rendezvous: hallways, park benches or the public restroom on Boddin Square in Neukölln, where person can get 20 minutes of privacy for 50 cents. Some girls are lucky enough to have a boyfriend with his own car or who can at least afford to pay €20 ($27) for a hotel room. (Read more.)


Anonymous said...

Well as a Christian Father I wouldn't want my daughter to have sex before marriage. If she dates I expect to meet the guy and I will try to make sure that she doesn't have sex until she is married. Now I would agree Muslims take it to far and it becomes abuse and oppression. I am Glad the world is waking up to this. We need to do all that is within our power to stop the abuse of Muslim woman by Muslim men. States need to start passing laws saying that Islam is a political movement and not a legit religion, only then will we have the power to stop its abusive ways.

Radical Moderate said...

The article is very telling for a number of reasons. First it demonstrates how you turn the "normal" male+female attraction. Into something that is abnormal and perverse.

But more important, it demonstrates a total break down in the family. There seems to be no trust in these family's. A lot of the perversity could be prevented if the family would meet the young man.

Instead of bringing a boy home to meet the family i.e. Mom and THE DAD. The boy and girl is forced to sneak around leading to the kind of behavior that is highlighted in this article.

The lack of reproductive education is startling. I do not feel that sex education should be in the schools alone, but instead it needs to be a team effort. Not all of us are biologist and there is so much to human reproduction that warrants a discussion in the classroom.

However from what it looks like there is NOTHING being discussed in the Muslim girls home. They are not properly equipping their children for life outside of the home.

What is even more shocking is the rate of suicide. The girl is shamed because of the failure of the parents.

I can certainly understand a mother and father wanting to protect their son and daughter from the evils of the world. However a parents honor should never be placed on their child, or a piece of skin. Instead the child should honor the mother and the father.

What good is honor if your child is lost, what good is honor if your child is dead?

donna60 said...

Christianity doesn't allow fornication, and if my daughter was having sex in a bathroom with strange boys, I would lock her up, and I am most serious!

My sons remained chaste in my home as well. I simply did not give them the opportunity to ruin their lives before they had even begun

Koala Bear said...

What a sordid and dirty life that must be. I wish muslims had the choice to be free, I really do. Apart from that sex education is essential for any person!

hugh watt said...

Firstly, from an Islamic standpoint it's problematic because men are allowed to behave like that, Muhammad did. Women are encouraged to be chaste but men can live-it-up.

There is no sitting down and talking about the birds and the bees so inevitably, whilst the hormones are aflame, risks will be taken. Muslim women are just as human as any other person, but where can they turn to? If they go to an elder they may face a harsh rebuke. I see youths dressing hip, they who "hate the west." They behave no differently from any other person. I see girls who want to party, but who are afraid to branch out.

There are Muslim women dying from cervical cancer because they have a hang-up about medics.

What I really notice here is something that Islam categorically denies, which is, man has a fallen nature. If ever they want proof, they should ask themselves, where do these passions comes from? Muslim or not, we all have the same sensual desires that is a rebellion against God's commandments. This cannot be attributed to, 'a lack of understanding.' We know inside what those feelings are about. We know their wrong outside of marriage, but just like Adam and Eve we try to cover them and redefine what sin is.

Theodoris said...

That article, for the most part, shines a positive light on Islam and I'm not sure if that was the purpose. If the decision is between a school aged girl fornicating or a strict family, I will always side with the strict family.

People should not be having sex before marriage - let alone school aged girls. I think any Christian would agree with this statement.

But I also believe you can replace the word 'Muslim' in this article with any Mediterranean culture - minus of course honor killings (that seems to be exclusive to Muslims).

Radical Moderate said...

@The blog

I posted this response on a Muslim blog in response to this article. I thought I would share it with you.

Now to answer your question "As a Christian should you condone and encourage sex before marriage?"

The answer Absolutely NOT. But you asked the wrong question. The question should not of been if I would condone such behavior, the question is how do you prevent such behavior. And the Muslim way of preventing that is the WRONG way because it is not preventing it, it is actually encouraging more deviant behavior.

So how would I prevent it. First by educating my Son and Daughter biblically. You can read my exogeet on Deut 22 that Yahya Snow has ignored.

Next, educate them on human reproduction, using both the home as well as the school. I'm no biologist and human reproduction is a topic that should be discussed not only in the home but also in the classroom.

These two things are nessasary so you can prepare and trust your daughter to make the right decision and choices.

Also and this is very important. Get to know the young womans love interest. Have them over for dinner and meet him.

Meet their family, make him apart of your family. Stress to the young man that you are trusting him with your daughter, your most valued possession. Make sure the young man understand not to disrespect you or your daughter by violating her.

Stress to your daughter that you are trusting her, and that it is not love to disrespect her or the family.

Also tied in with all this is well defined rules. An age for dating, 16 seems to be a good number. Chaperoned dates at first, definite curfew, and constant follow up to validate that trust.

Also it should be noted that the family of these young girls are depriving them of medical attention. Not seeing a GBYN????? That is just wrong and should be a crime.

Now things happen, so what if all the best parenting still leads to a bad decision and violation of that trust. DO NOT KILL THE GIRL. Let me say this again DO NOT KILL THE GIRL.

Instead the environment you want is one of love and trust. I want my child to come to me, not to a stranger, with any problem.

The Muslim way in this article does not provide love and especially does not foster trust.

This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that parents are denying medical attention, children are sneaking around behind their parents backs, some engaging in deviant sexual behavior, others covering up a pregnancy only to have a late term abortion with out the parents knowledge etc... etc...

This is clearly a failure.

Sophie said...

This is more than just a matter of strict parents; it's a culture in which a woman's worth revolves around her virginity, which is utterly wrong and completely ungodly. It's not a positive article at all.

Yes it is wonderfully convenient for religious people, men especially, to be able to draw a nice, neat line between the virgins and the whores with none of that troubling middle ground in between, but at what price? Secret abortions, anal sex, no bonds of trust between parent and child, a culture of guilt, deceit, shame mistrust and oppression of women.

The price is too high.

I'm just glad my agnostic parents trusted me enough to give me all possible freedom. Boundaries and rules are good, but if you don't trust your kids they will work hard to give you a reason not to trust them!

I couldn't live with the kinds of rules and expectations, double standards, confusion, guilt, shame and ignorance regarding sex that the girls in this article have to live with, and I know I would have been driven to rebellion as they have been. The Bible says somewhere (Ephesians?) "Fathers, don't exasperate your children or they will become embittered". I'll bet there's many an embittered Muslim girl out there, and some Christians, too.

ned said...

I agree that Christian girls and boys should restrain their sexual senses for marriage time. If they cannot then they cease to be Christians allow unrighteousness take control of us. As a parent i would be concerned if my child would act like these muslim girls. But i beleive if one has Jesus truly living inside then he or she cannot sin. We cannot have two standards for if we are slave to sins like sex before marriage or other kinds then we are strangers to God's Kingdom. Jesus taught us to get rid of our sinful nature and move towards righteousness of God. This is a good measure given to us and we should judge and make improvements according to this measure which we get through Jesus.

goethechosemercy said...

To live in a Muslim society would fill me with rage.
It would fill my every day.
I wonder how a Muslim woman can love anything or anyone.

dezzyD said...

hello i am new to this, and i barely know how to use the google account, anyways... can somebody help me get in contact with david wood and the team, because i would like to set up a islam vs christianity debate in my hometown.
im a christian and i too have been defending the faith, my knowledge is not yet on the same level as you apologetics, it would be really helpful if you's come down to england, manchester.

Tizita said...

I grew up in a strong born again Christian home. And both my siblings and i know from the Holy Bible that sex outside of marriage is a SIN!

I'm 22 and will stay virgin whether i get married or not. Same w/ my five brothers, they are around my age but they all are virgins also.

I felt like this article was trying to make the muslim women have sex out of wedlock. basically saying that b/c they are restricted they don't have the freedom to commit sin : (

I don't like islam (love muslims) but i do agree w/ everyone on the blog that said the families should be willing to have their daughters meet guys/date to see who is suitable for marriage.

That will really help the whole sneaking around and having sex at weird places. My parents let us date but they made it very, VERY clear that sex outside of married is sin, and it was up to us to obey man or Jesus. And we all chose the later!

Also trust in family is very, very important!

hugh watt said...

goethechosemercy said:

"I wonder how a Muslim woman can love anything or anyone."

Because the same God who made you and I made them also.

donna60 said...

Tizita: Nicely written!

donna60 said...


I agree with you that the difference (in women) between angels and "ho's" (little Motown lingo, tee, hee, hee) isn't all that cut-and-dry.

The women in the lineage of Jesus for instance, had somewhat tarnished reputations.

But they had such courage! Such passion! Such thankfulness for their redeemers and their Redeemer.

Bathsheba. No woman deserved the title of queen more than she. She is in the company of Mary in that she held a first-born son in her arms and watched her baby die for her sins.

Wow! And yet she named one of her sons, the son who would be in the lineage of Mary to be exact, after Nathan, the prophet who rebuked David for his sin with her, and announced her little baby boy's death. What grace! What incredible courage and grace this woman had.

I haven't had nearly as "colorful" life as she had, but I don't know if I will be cool enough to hang out with her when we are in heaven together.